12 Thursday, June 13, 2019 03:10

No compromise in sight for Albania's deadlocked politicians

Opposition supporters have been calling on Prime Minister Edi Rama to resign [Florion Goga/Reuters] Tirana, Albania - President Ilir Meta was set to hold a series of meetings with party leaders on Wednesday night in an effort to resolve a constitutional crisis that, in his words, poses a serious threat to public security, democratic stability, tranquillity and peace in the country.

On June 8, the president called off nationwide local elections that were due to take place on the last day of the month, because only the ruling Socialist Party had fielded mayoral candidates for them. This election process is fictitious, he said.Opposition parties, led by the Democratic Party, have refused to participate in any elections until Prime Minister Edi Rama resigns and a caretaker government oversees a new general election.

Rama won a second four-year term in June 2017, in a poll which saw the opposition garner 48 percent of the popular vote.The conduct of elections in the context of a tense political situation can lead to not only non-participation in the elections of about half of the voters, but creates the risk of a civil conflict, Meta said in calling off the local elections.

190609095331495The opposition has boycotted parliament since February, holding weekly protest rallies outside the prime ministers office and Parliament.We just became a piece of a picture-perfect Parliament with government and opposition, which was effectively a facade, because this opposition was unable to stop parliament from undertaking illegal acts, Democratic Party leader Lullzim Basha told Al Jazeera shortly after the walkout.

The Rama government has been rocked by a series of scandals that have led to the resignation of two interior ministers for suspected collusion with organised crime.Basha said government ministers refused to be deposed in bipartisan committees, and those committees refused to submit evidence of investigations we initiated of collusion between organised crime and senior ministers.

The latest allegations came on June 5, when the German tabloid Bild published recorded telephone conversations purporting to be between drug kingpin Astrit Avdylaj and Socialist Party officials. In the recording, the voice identified as Avdylaj insists on his appointee being included among the Socialist Partys candidate list in the 2017 election, in return for drumming up voter turnout for the party.

That appointee was elected to Parliament.Defiant RamaRama has been defiant. After Meta called off local elections, he tabled a parliamentary vote to replace the president. That vote is scheduled for Thursday, but Rama seems to have had a change of heart.Right now [Rama] wont try [to remove the president], an opposition MP who asked not to be named told Al Jazeera.

. He has proposed a draft resolution that nowhere mentions removal of the president. It simply calls on the president to respect the constitution.Rama directly controls 75 MPs. He needs 94 for a resolution replacing the.....

News Code: 192684  |  aljazeera
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